February 25, 2008
The relationship between the Catholic and Jewish communities remains strong on the international, national, and local levels. The groundbreaking declarations made more than 40 years ago in Nostra Aetate have yielded, more than a generation later, a relationship that is deep and enduring. The American Jewish community welcomed a Vatican recognition in 2006 that anti-Zionism is anti-Semitism. American Jews mourned the passing of the late Pope John Paul II, a man who referred to the Jewish people as “the beloved elder brothers of the Church of the original covenant never abrogated.” We welcomed the news that in his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, was chosen a man who has shown great devotion to interfaith relations. We hold great hope that the relationship between Catholics and Jews will continue to deepen, and that this relationship will help us to bridge differences over matters that have caused concern in recent years such as the status of the Fundamental Agreement between the State of Israel and the Holy See; the increased flexibility given priests to use a Latin Rite with arguably anti-Jewish prayers; and denial of full access to Holocaust era archives.